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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > The Midnight Meat Train – Unrated Director’s Cut (Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

The Midnight Meat Train – Unrated Director’s Cut (Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD-Video)


Picture: B/B-     Sound: B+/B-     Extras: C     Film: C



Last call for the Meat Train to Nowheresville!  I had serious high hopes for The Midnight Meat Train, but instead what was delivered to the station was a film that stunk of death and idiotic plot points.  The trailer was enticing enough; I even love Vinnie Jones; but in the end the film simply fell flat on its massive face.


The ghastly torture porn film stars Bradley Cooper as Leon, a struggling photographer who wants nothing more than to capture the true essence of a decaying metropolis.  Leon finally gets his wish when he stumbles onto the path of a serial killer on a late night city train.  Mahogany (Vinnie Jones) is the aforementioned serial killer who by day works at a meat packing plant; but just can’t seem to leave his work at the office.  Each scene is filled with gruesome murder after gruesome murder, where Mahogany strings up the scalped, de-fleshed, beaten, de-tongued, and overall mutilated remains of his victims on the train’s handrails that substitute for meat hooks.  The film is brilliantly brutal and full of gore, if that is what you are looking for; but in every other way the film is atrociously bad.  At first the plot does not seem all that unbelievable, but the film quickly spirals out of control as it is obviously more focused on blood and guts than on a tangible plot.  There is little suspense as with each slash Vinnie Jones hacks away at his victims and the plot with little regard.  There are many gross out scenes outside of the excessive blood splatter that ranges from girlfriends slipping on eyeballs too others chowing down on flesh; all in all being pure nonsense.


I would like to delve into more plot details, but let’s be honest; one there is little plot to discuss and two if you are watching this movie it is for the gore, not for Vinnie Jones to recite a Shakespearian soliloquy.  I would honestly wait for the next train…


Once you wash away the blood and gore the technical features are not all that bad on this Blu-ray, but the DVD release could use some work.  The film is presented in 1080p High Definition that purposefully embodies an unnatural gritty, dark texture throughout.  The film oddly uses monochromatic color schemes of steel grays and icy blues to deliver the apparent emptiness and horror of the midnight train; instead the poor direction ends up being tired and drab.  Besides blues and grays there are many, many splashes of vivid reds.  The picture overall is nice, never meant to be the cleanest image; but has a solid clarity.  The sound is aggressive as it is presented in an English 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio that is crystal clear and extremely fluid.  The dialogue is stupid, the music is not all too great, and the ambient noises are hardly scary; but boy does it all come through wonderfully!  After a monotonous digital massacre with the film’s image quality, the sound was a nice change of pace as it projected each slash and scream with serene clarity.


The DVD is just a downgraded version of an already visually washed out film.  The 2.35 X 1 Widescreen image is not as crisp or clear as the Blu-ray and even the annoying monotonous blues and grays are drearily worse.  The reds no longer have the crimson pop and the grittiness seems worse than even intended.  The sound is not bad, but after hearing the DTS HD Master Audio the DVD’s Dolby Digital 5.1 surround is adequate at best.


The Blu-ray and DVD extras are essentially unwatchable; mainly because after seeing the film, no one will stick around for the extras.  The special features include a “Clive Barker: The Man Behind the Myth” feature, “Anatomy of a Murder Scene” featurette, “Mahogany’s Tale” featurette, Trailers, and finally an Audio Commentary with Clive Barker and Ryuhei Kitamura.  The only extra worth elaborating on is the audio commentary, which is very candid and even discusses the film being (pretty much) being dropped right to DVD/Blu-ray via Lionsgate.  The commentary dances between admirable and sad as the two directors share their feelings on the ambitious film that certainly did not pan out; but to them it is horror gold.


This would be a definite skip for most, but those of you who can’t seem to get enough SAW, Hostel, or other gory favorites The Midnight Meat Train may just be your ticket.



-    Michael P. Dougherty II


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